Σάββατο, 14 Μαρτίου 2015

Elia Kazan

On the set of Splendor in the Grass(1961)
Elia Kazan (born Elias KazantzoglouGreekΗλίας Καζαντζόγλου; September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".
He was born in Istanbul, to Cappadocian Greek parents. After studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years, later joining the Group Theater in 1932, and co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford, he introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism." Kazan acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest (1940).
Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, includingMarlon Brando and James Dean. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He became "one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century" after directing a string of successful films, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), and East of Eden (1955). During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes. Among the other actors he introduced to movie audiences wereWarren BeattyCarroll BakerJulie HarrisAndy GriffithLee RemickRip TornEli WallachEva Marie SaintMartin BalsamFred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle.
His films were concerned with personal or social issues of special concern to him. Kazan writes, "I don't move unless I have some empathy with the basic theme." His first such "issue" film wasGentleman's Agreement (1947), with Gregory Peck, which dealt with anti-Semitism in America. It received 8 Oscar nominations and 3 wins, including Kazan's first for Best Director. It was followed by Pinky, one of the first films to address racial prejudice against blacks. In 1954, he directed On the Waterfront, a film about union corruption on the New York harbor waterfront, which some consider "one of the greatest films in the history of international cinema." A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), an adaptation of the stage play which he had also directed, received 12 Oscar nominations, winning 4, and was Marlon Brando's breakthrough role. In 1955, he directed John Steinbeck's East of Eden, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, making him an overnight star.
A turning point in Kazan's career came with his testimony as a "friendly witness" before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952 at the time of the Hollywood blacklist, which brought him strong negative reactions from many liberal friends and colleagues. Kazan later explained that he took "only the more tolerable of two alternatives that were either way painful and wrong." Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and '60s with his provocative, issue-driven subjects. Director Stanley Kubrick called him, "without question, the best director we have in America, [and] capable of performing miracles with the actors he uses." Film author Ian Freer concludes that "if his achievements are tainted by political controversy, the debt Hollywood—and actors everywhere—owes him is enormous." In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film A Letter to Elia as a personal tribute to Kazan. (wiki)

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou

Vangelis Papathanassiou, Honorary Doctor of 
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, professionally known as Vangelis, is a Greek composer of electronicprogressiveambientjazzpop rock, andorchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films AntarcticaBlade RunnerMissing1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.
Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx and Aphrodite's Child, with the latter's album 666 going on to be recognized as a psychedelic classic. Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L'Apocalypse Des AnimauxLa Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.
In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won anAcademy Award for Best Original Music ScoreThe soundtrack's single, Titles, also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners' medal presentation ceremonies.
Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 52 albums, Vangelis is one of the most important exponents of electronic music.
France made Vangelis a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1992. In 1995, Vangelis had a minor planet named after him (6354 Vangelis) by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (MPC) at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; the name was proposed by the MPC's co-director, Gareth V. Williams, rather than by the object's original discoverer, Eugène Joseph Delporte, who died in 1955, long before the 1934 discovery could be confirmed by observations made in 1990. NASA conferred their Public Service Medal to Vangelis in 2003. The award is the highest honour the space agency presents to an individual not involved with the American government. Five years later, in 2008, the board of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens voted to make Vangelis an Honorary Doctor, making him Professor Emeritus at their Faculty of Primary Education. In June 2008, the American Hellenic Institute honoured Vangelis with an AHI Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award for his "exceptional artistic achievements" as a pioneer in electronic music and for his lifelong dedication to the promotion of Hellenism through the arts. On 16 September 2013, he received the honour of appearing on the Greek 80 cent postage stamp, as part of a series of six distinguished living personalities of the Greek Diaspora. (wiki)

Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera

Sunday, May 3, 2015 | 8 PM

Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera

Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera is based on the record Faith, Struggle, Victory and features Dena Stevens’s Shazadi Dance Project. Set in the year AD 988, the Age of Basil II: Emperor of Byzantium, the story chronicles Princess Anna Porphyrogenita and her marriage to Grand Prince Vladimir of the Kievan Rus’. This story of love, war, and peace features hard rock and Greek folk music, belly dancing, actors, and a 12-piece rock orchestra.
About Porphyra

Heavy, exotic, Metal epics & quick driving Hard Rock anthems, the new Porphyra album “Faith, Struggle, Victory” will have something to please all Rock fans!
New York based group, Porphyra, which comes from the Greek “Πορφύρα,” meaning Purple or Porphyry Chamber, formerly Phoenix Reign, has been around since 1998. Porphyra is an eclectic modern Rock band whose musical styling incorporates Hard Rock and Symphonic Metal with Greek folk, progressive and classical textures.
Billy Chrissochos along with Frank Pace created a new version of this no holds barred Rock band in 2013 that fuses all their collective tastes. Featuring guest vocals by Chandler Mogel (Outloud, Khaos) and a killer array of songs the band is gearing up to bring their brand of unique metal to the masses. The album features amazing cover and lyric art from Billy Chrissochos himself as well.
Our Rock Opera coming May 3rd at Carnegie Hall
Set in the year 988AD, the Heroic Age of Basil II Emperor of Byzantium, the story chronicles Princess Anna Porphyrogenitos and her marriage to Grand Prince Vladimir of the Kievan Rus. An incredible story of Love, War and Peace brought to life through Hard Rock and Greek Folk music, belly dancing, actors, and a twelve piece rock orchestra.
This is the first Greek Inspired Rock Opera of its kind and the first to debut at Carnegie Hall’s renowned Zankel Theater. This is a first step towards taking our opera to the Broadway stage. The Production also features the Dena Stevens Shazadi Dance project and its belly dancers.
The Rock Opera Live Touring Band 2015
The touring, production line up features new lead singers George Tsalikis (Zandelle), and Elaine Tuttle along with tenor Demetrios Tsinopoulos and international recording star Christos Alexandrou. Music Director is Dimitris Lambrianos.
Billy Chrissochos is on guitar, Mike Savvas on guitar and tzoura, Paul Cerni on bass, Meredith Bogacz on violin, Frank Pace on drums and Richard Khuzami on percussion.
Order the new album “Faith, Struggle, Victory” and 11×17 Collectors Poster cover art for the limited time combo deal of just $20 (plus shipping and handling) at www.Porphyraband.com
“Like” Porphyra on Facebook and subscribe to our Porphyra Official YouTube channel.
And Save the date for the debut of “Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera” at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Theater coming Sunday, May 3rd 2015 at 8:00PM!

Billy Chrissochos – Guitars

Billy was born in Astoria, New York but grew up at an early age in Athens, Greece. There he fell in love with his ancestral culture and Heavy Metal. From Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones to Abba, The Scorpions, Manowar, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Nightwish, George Dalaras, Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Stamatis Spanoudakis, and everything in between, including the Greek blues -Rembetika, American blues, Surf music, Classical, Opera, and Euro Club music, his taste in music runs the gamut.
In 1998 he founded the New York based group Phoenix Reign, featuring male vocals, double guitars, Greek melodies and historical themes. Soon after the band switched to female vocals becoming New York’s premiere female fronted, Hard Rock/Power Metal band playing all the famous hot spots including CBGB’s, L’amour’s, the Voodoo Lounge, Castle Heights, Continental, Ace of Clubs, the Village Underground, Made in Brazil, Don Hills, The Chance, The Gramercy Theater, and the Good Times Magazine sponsored Festival. They opened up for acts such as Lynch Mob, Riot, Winger, Turisas and Epica, and even performed with the Astoria Symphony on multiple occasions.
Around 2010, the band with primarily Billy at the helm, soldiered on, changing their name briefly to Iskandar (the name of Alexander the Great in the Middle East), working with various Greek musicians and rocking the NYC Parks Festivals, such as Astoria and Athens Square Park. In 2013 Billy returned to his Metal and Hard Rock roots by teaming up with the talented and international front man Chandler Mogel, renaming the band yet again as Porphyra. Now truer to his original vision of a rock opera, Porphyra features strong melodic male vocals, female vocals and more Greek ethnic instruments. Greek history, mythology and sci-fi are at the core of the new re-imagined band. They’ve played Gussy’s, Blackthorn, and performed with the PUI Tribe at Irving Plaza. Billy is the primary composer, lyricist and producer of the band as well as an artist, graphic designer, photographer, video editor, event organizer, finance specialist, and historical consultant. He plays the Alto Saxophone and the Guitar. Along with his Hellenic American Center of the Arts organization which helps organize Greek themed classical, opera, rock and heavy metal performances, Billy has striven to merge Rock and Heavy Metal with Greek music all his life and is truly a pioneer in this.

George Tsalikis – Vocalist

George began his music career back in the early 90’s as the original lead singer of Gothic Knights. After his split from that band, he started up a new project Zandelle, in early 1996.  After releasing two independent albums, Zandelle signed with LMP Records in 2000 and went on to release “Twilight on Humanity” and “Vengeance Rising”.  They soon after parted ways with LMP and signed on with Pure Steel Records where they went on to release “Flames of Rage” and “Shadows of the Past” and completed their first ever European tour.
In addition to his music careerGeorge started pursuing acting in 2004 and has since been involved in over two dozen theatrical productions, 18 films and about a dozen musical revues. George’s theater credits include the title roles in Jekyll & Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar and Dracula as well as Javert in Les Miserables and Curly McClain in Oklahoma. George is currently working on his first solo album as well as eagerly awaiting the release of Zandelle’s 5th studio album.

Frank Pace – Drums

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Frank began playing music by the age of 7. He learned to play the saxophone, keyboards, and drums. Through the years he has worked with several groups throughout New York City; such as Melvin Williams Quintet; the Meringue Rock group, Boombox Repair Kit; jazz fusion and rock guitarist Gary Katz. Frank has also performed solo compositions and collaborated with up and coming musicians in the tri state area.
Frank has begun to take steps towards composing music for video games and films. His musical interests and styles include Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, R & B, Motown, Latin Rock/Jazz, Big Band, Progressive, Funk, Drum & Bass, Experimental, Classical, etc.

Mike “Risko” Savvas – Bass

Mike for web
Mike Savvas was born in Athens, Greece in 1983 but grew up in the small port town called Rafina. From the age of 8 he was schooled in classical guitar and keyboards. At about the same time he found his other passion when he started his training in Martial Arts. Soon, he dropped his classic guitar for an electric one willing to imitate his idols, Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and AC/DC.
Mike started to write music from early on. He joined a couple of bands in high school but he mostly focused in composing. At the age of 18, he moved to Paris, France, to study Greek Archaeology, his third passion. After acquiring his Masters Degree he decided to make a radical change, leave his job and move to NYC, to pursue to the fullest at least one of his three passions. Eventually, he met Billy Chrissochos, founder of epic metal band Phoenix Reign and joined his new project which was named Porphyra.
The band combined all three of Mike’s interests; Heavy Metal, Greek History and the Combative Spirit, which are all part of our Greek nature.

Meredith Bogacz – Violinist

Hailing from Evanston, IL, Meredith studied classical violin with Ingrid Nevinger of Chicago, IL from elementary school through high school, and continued her studies with Dr. Melissa Knecht at Hillsdale College. Her college studies were focused on romantic and early 20th century violin works by Wieniawski, Kreisler, Smetna, and R. Vaughn-Williams. She has also immersed herself in the world of Irish Traditional music, being self-taught from 2006, as well as learning tunes and technique under New York Sligo-style fiddler Tony DeMarco upon her arrival in New York.
Meredith graduated from College with a B.A. in Fine Art and Music, and received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Meredith is an active violinist and fiddler in NYC. Her technical skill, broad musical experience, and impressive improvisational ability allow her to adapt to a variety of musical scenarios. She currently performs with the Staten Island based Irish-rock band A Band of Rogues. Previous projects include Seraphim/The Eastern Gate, Cabiria, BuzzUniverse, The Roadside Poets, and appearances with Spuyten Duyvil and Burning Bridget Cleary. She can be heard every Sunday with Sean McNally and friends at the Irish session at the Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern.